I think what the two authors--John Green and David Leviathan--did (or tried to do) individually was successful (i.e., engaging wordplay; development o...moreI think what the two authors--John Green and David Leviathan--did (or tried to do) individually was successful (i.e., engaging wordplay; development of a protagonist named Will Grayson/will grayson; development of the person who finally "gets" Will Grayson/will grayson, characters Jane and gideon, respectively); however, the combination of the two authors' writing was less than successful.
I think the primary rationale for this is that the junction of the two protagonists' lives came through Tiny Cooper, a character who was a bit too veiled early on. It wasn't until the will/Tiny break-up that you started to really see that there was more to Tiny than just crush after crush after crush (he was incredibly rash and self-centered up to that point). And by that time you were less-than-invested in him--you were more invested in Will, Jane, and will. (And, in my case, will's mom... she was interesting.)
Others have trashed the book for it's mature content and/or Leviathan's use of all lower-case letters; however, I think the content of the book and the stylistic choices made by both authors were appropriate manifestations of their protagonists and the larger story they were telling.(less)
Joe Schreiber, who's past is mostly genre writing, has stretched himself into the thriller (YA) category and come up with a story that's entirely impl...moreJoe Schreiber, who's past is mostly genre writing, has stretched himself into the thriller (YA) category and come up with a story that's entirely implausible and non-stop fun. He's developed characters that are totally believable and represent the kind of people that you would want to be best friends with. (As an aside, I didn't know there were so many ways to describe minuscule shifts in the gastrointestinal tract that illustrated nervousness until having read this book.)
I'd recommend this book for fans of slick spy movies that involve lots of hand-to-hand combat (think Mr. & Mrs. Smith) because his writing is so well told that it reads like watching a movie.
I'd also recommend that everyone read this book and then expectantly wait for next fall when the sequel comes out.(less)
A few quick quotes to demonstrate why I skipped pages 141-217
[Pot] ... "But all that happened like way long ago, and I haven't really done it since. B...moreA few quick quotes to demonstrate why I skipped pages 141-217
[Pot] ... "But all that happened like way long ago, and I haven't really done it since. But not wanting to look like a total geek, I go, 'Yeah, I light up every now and then.' And then I pinch it from his fingers, take a long, deep drag..." (p. 16).
[Popularity] ... "And I'm not used to worrying about stuff like this, 'cause at my old school it was just me, Paige, and Hud... and we didn't really care what everyone else thought. I guess you could say we were geeks, but it didn't matter. But now that it's just me, I admit, it kind of matters," (p 27).
[Pill] ... "[Kristi] tosses something to me, and I close my hand around it. When I open my palm there's a small pill lying there. 'What's this?' "'Take it when you want to chill.'... "Then I take that pill Kristi gave me the other day. Because if I ever needed help chilling, it's right now... "'Um, what was that pill you gave me the other day?' I ask, leaning my head against the neck rest, and totally interrupting her. "'Just valium. Why? Did you take it?' Her eyes light up," (p 88, 100, 101).
[Powder] ... "I just stand there not saying anything because even though I've totally made up my mind that I'm not gonna do it, there's still this tiny part of me that's whispering, 'Why not?' I mean, I've watched Kristi do it, and it's not like it made her all crazy or anything. And it's not like one line's gonna make me an addict... "And when she comes back up [from snorting a line] her eyes are wide and sparkling, and her skin is flushed slightly pink, and she looks so happy and perfect, that I think: What the hell? I mean, it is my birthday. And I'll only do a little bit. And no one will ever find out since it's our secret..." (p 113)
[Pressure] ... "But now it's getting late, and Tyler still hasn't called, and I still haven't picked out an outfit for tomorrow, not to mention the homework I haven't touched all week. It's like there's just not enough time in the day to fit it all in, and it makes me wonder how other people do it. People who have jobs and stuff like Mason. But then again Mason doesn't really have a ton of friends like I do, and it's not like she has to keep a log what she wears from week to week so that she doesn't repeat. I mean, all she cares about is getting into art school, that's her entire focus. I guess it used to be mine, too, but now it doesn't even make the list," (p 138).
[Powder] ... "So I turn off my phone and reach all the way into the back of my nightstand drawer where I've stashed that little vial of coke... I pull the drawer all the way out but I still can't find it, so I dump the contents on the ground... And then I remember how Kristi finished it the last time she was here. And even though I'm pretty wide-awake now and could probably make it without the extra boost, the fact is I kinda want some," (p 139).
That's when I stopped reading. I flipped to the back of the book and then, like, straight out of Mean Girls, the protagonist (who up to this point has been a popularity-hungry loser who did literally anything to be accepted by the cool crowd) has miraculously started to stand up for herself and was able to get everything to fit right in the world again.(less)